Corporate Volunteer Finds JA Experience Rewarding and Uplifting

First-time JA volunteers often have no idea what to expect when they first step foot in a classroom. However, usually after just a few minutes of working with students, volunteers see how much their time and talent is appreciated and valued. Judy Knocke, senior operations manager for Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, shared the sentiments of an excited volunteer who had just completed her first experience at JA Finance Park?.JA Finance Park helps students build a foundation for making intelligent, lifelong, personal financial decisions through hands-on, realistic simulation experiences. The program includes in-school activities, culminating in the JA Finance Park simulation followed by a post-simulation assessment. Lillian German, a new JA volunteer and the director of U.S. Government Relations for Talisman Energy USA Inc., was assigned to a volunteer team at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Texas, about 40 miles north of Houston. ?"We had an awesome day at Oak Ridge High School," German said. "The day began at 7 a.m. and ended after 4 p.m. because we couldnt tear ourselves away from these students! The teachers and volunteers were outstanding and made us feel very comfortable with our four classes. While we were able to follow the JA curriculum, we tried to tailor our lessons to fit each class. Prior to each assignment, we were able to relate to the students our own backgrounds, challenges we overcame and how we achieved successful careers, as well as the fascinating work that Talisman does."German shared her perspective that for half of the students she worked with that day, their family and circumstances will ensure future success. But for the other 50 percent, programs like Junior Achievement are essential."I was amazed and deeply touched by the outpouring of personal experiences and shared ambitions, and have rarely seen such a great need for such mentoring. Please count me as an absolute fan and future volunteer," German concluded.

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